Thou­sands more flee deadly fires in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia

Amer­ica: State’ s largest, dead­li­est blaze has slowed af­ter days of growth

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - WORLD NEWS -

Thou­sands more peo­ple have fled their homes af­ter wild­fires surged near a small lake town in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia.

In all, more than 10,000 peo­ple are un­der manda­tory evac­u­a­tion or­ders from the two blazes in Men­do­cino and Lake coun­ties.

Those fires are among 17 burn­ing across the state, where fire crews are stretched to the limit – although the ad­vance of the state’s largest, dead­li­est blaze has now slowed slightly af­ter days of ex­plo­sive growth.

A man whose wife and two great-grand­chil­dren are among the six peo­ple who died in the so-called Carr Fire, near Redding, Cal­i­for­nia, said he did not re­ceive any warn­ing to evac­u­ate.

Ed Bled­soe told CBS News he did not know his home was in dan­ger when he left his wife, Melody, and the four- and five-year-old chil­dren to run an er­rand on Thurs­day.

Mr Bled­soe said he re­ceived a phone call from his wife 15 min­utes later say­ing he needed to get home be­cause the fire was ap­proach­ing.

He said one of the chil­dren told him the blaze was at the back door.

When he tried to re­turn, the road was blocked with cars, and flames pre­vented him from re­turn­ing on foot.

Shasta County Sher­iff Tom Bosenko told the net­work there is an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether the Bled­soe home re­ceived a warn­ing. The sher­iff said there is ev­i­dence that doorto-door no­ti­fi­ca­tions were made in the area.

The lat­est evac­u­a­tions in­cluded about 1,000 peo­ple in Men­do­cino County.

The rest are in Lake County, where res­i­dents of the town of Lake­port, which has a pop­u­la­tion of 5,000, were ordered to leave on Sun­day night.

Two other towns with about 5,000 peo­ple are also un­der manda­tory evac­u­a­tion.

The two blazes have de­stroyed six homes and are threat­en­ing 10,000 oth­ers.

The fires had black­ened 87 square miles, with min­i­mal con­tain­ment.

The wild­fires that started on Fri­day are about 100 miles south-west of Redding.

Crews han­dling the blaze near Redding struck a hope­ful tone for the first time in days as the mas­sive fire slowed af­ter days of rapid ex­pan­sion.

“We’re feel­ing a lot more op­ti­mistic to­day as we’re start­ing to gain some ground rather than be­ing in a de­fen­sive mode on this fire all the time,” said Bret Gou­vea, the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion’s in­ci­dent com­man­der on the blaze around Redding.

As of yes­ter­day, the Redding fire had de­stroyed 723 homes, up from a pre­vi­ous count of 657 homes.

“Op­ti­mistic to­day as we’re start­ing to gain some ground”

WASTE­LAND: San Bernardino County Fire depart­ment fire­fight­ers as­sess the dam­age to a neigh­bor­hood in the af­ter­math of a wildfire

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